The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

The Nobility of the Jews at Berea

Now the (Jews) were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the Kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 [AMP]

But the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so. Acts 17:11 [TLB]

Paul’s usual practice [culture, manner of life] is to maximize every time available at his disposal to minister Christ: preaching the Gospel. After he and his company had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they got to the synagogue of the Jews at Thessalonica, where he reasoned with them from scriptures about the death and resurrection of Jesus who is the Christ (Messiah).It is worthy of note that all Christians should inculcate this virtue (and command) in their pilgrimage.

This message of Paul permeated some Jews, a great multitude of the devout Greeks and a few chief women in Thessalonica, all of whom believed and consorted (cast their lot) with the Apostle.

But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy… Acts 17:5 (why?)

A fraction of the Jews who did not believe must have held firmly to a false report which went viral after Jesus’ death, that which denied His resurrection, claiming that the Disciples stole him away while the soldier slept. This saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Matt. 28:11-15. It must have been a thug of war for Paul, because he actually reasoned (argued) with them for three Sabbath days in their synagogue before he got the number that believed.

We must at this junction state that; Christ actually died, was buried and resurrected on the third day, which validated the teachings of Paul. Nothing can be done against the truth but for the truth (2Cor. 13:8). For death could not hold him captive (1Cor. 15:55-58). They also accused Paul and his company of treason, in that they claimed another King, Jesus, instead of Caesar (Acts 17:7). Whereas Paul must have stated that Jesus was a King, but His Kingdom is not of this world. (Acts 18:36)

 This was not the case with the Jews at Berea. We therefore seek to understand the virtues possessed by the Jews at Berea which made them nobler.

These were nobler than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed: also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:11-12

We can extract two important points attributed to their nobility:

  1. They received the word with readiness of mind
  2. Searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.

The difference between a believer and a un-believer is that the first believes while the other does not. The one who believed must have accepted the truth preached because he/she was open-minded. The Jews at Thessalonica were not open-minded, they could not accept new (correct) idea because they held tightly and firmly to their old (wrong) beliefs. They did not give room for the glorious light of the gospel to flood their hearts in order for their darkness to be enlightened. Unknown to them that all were just a shadow of the real thing, which is Christ. Many of us have also fallen short of new terrains that the Holy Spirit would have launched us into, because we being myopic have decided to hold on firmly to the doctrines of men and the limitation around us. Many a times we have so acted like Peter, who first saidnot so my lord, for I have never done this before (anything unclean- of which God already made clean) Acts 11. Which unknown to him, God was clearly expounding the scope of salvation to him, stating that, it was not only for the Jews rather for every nations and tribes (gentiles).

Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. If we are not eager and zealous to receive, we will end up not getting Faith to act upon.

The Jews at Thessalonica had a zeal but not according to knowledge.

Brethren, my heart’s desire and Prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For them being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. Rom. 10:1-4

The words spoken by Paul did not produce salvation in them because it did not mix with faith in their heart. They had a stony heart (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). In that the message preached by Paul was unknown/unclear to them, they zealously raised an uproar in the city, thinking they are doing God a favour, by their action, but they were actually against the proliferation of God’s word. They fought vehemently against anything contrary (as it were) to the Jewish traditions handed over to them by their fathers. This was also the position of Paul before his encounter with Christ. Their zeal was wanting in knowledge.

On the other hand, the Jews at Berea received (embraced and accepted favourably) the word, the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus, with eagerness, much inclination and readiness (preparedness) of mind and there was a performance.

Now, therefore perform the doing of it: that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also of that which ye have. 2Cor. 8:11

This virtue expresses the reason why Isaiah said if ye are willing (desirous and ready) and obedient, ye shall eat the good (fatness) of the land. God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasures. The predicament of the unbelieving Thessalonians was the hardness of their heart. Some folks have not received the engrafted word of God with meekness, openness and readiness of mind, some on the other hand had held tenaciously and firmly to the traditions of men, old wives fables and the rudiments of this world, all of which had robbed them of the finished works of Christ and the power thereof. Others have unknowingly retarded and consequently brought to halt the next phase (new things) that God wants to commit to their hands all because they were satisfied with what they have, as such are not hungry nor thirsty for more.

Dear reader, I implore you to be ready, eager and willing to explore and receive new levels of victory/grace from the WORD of God; for God is set (determined) to manifest in greater dimensions, the savour of His knowledge in every place by us. We are blessed with ministry gifts for this purpose.

While wanting to receive new things, the Apostles exhorted the church about the rising of many false teachers and prophets in the last day. They thus encouraged a test (to prove) every spirit/teaching/prophecy whether they be of God by the instrumentality of the Spirit and by the word of God. 1John 4:1; 2Pet. 2:1

Study to show thyself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim. 2:15

Another prominent virtue exhibited by the Jews at Berea, was their diligent search of the Scriptures to confirm what was said by Paul. A diligent search and study brings increased knowledge and empowers to do the content. Under the tutelage of the Spirit and by consistent search of the scripture with open-mindedness, the truth is communicated to us. We thus shed off the imperfect (shadowy) that the perfect might have free course.

All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2Tim. 3:16-17.

There is no perfect understanding gained from scripture outside the tutelage of the Spirit. This is because, he is the custodian of Truth. He glorifies Christ by revealing the intent of all purposes, events and prophecies in Scriptures, as they relate to Christ. This is made bare to the church by teachers and pastors.

Jesus said “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” John 5:39 (KJV)

You make search in the Holy writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those writings which give witness about me (BBE)

You examine the scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me. (ISV)

The Jews at Berea carefully and diligently searched and x-rayed the messages of Paul in scripture daily to confirm whether they are in alignment: Little wonder he commended their Nobility.

This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth: but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and thou shall have good success. Josh. 1:8

Their Readiness of mind and confirmation by search from scriptures go hand-in-hand, they are complementary. We should inculcate these virtues in our day to day activity, this will makes us stand out.

Let your zeal be according to knowledge
Christ Reigns! We Win!
Love Always Win.

Written by Akintayo Damilola

The Growth Mindset

The Growth Mindset

“Until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ (Eph. 4:13 NIV)”

“Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of people in their deceitful scheming” (Eph. 4: 14 NIV)

God wants every Christian to grow in faith (grow in the knowledge of God). Well, that is the delight of every parent, to see their once little baby grow up and become a successful adult in whatever endeavor he/she might choose.

“Like newborn babies you should crave (thirst for, earnestly desire) the pure (unadulterated) spiritual milk, that by it you may be nurtured and grow unto [completed] salvation” 1 Peter 2:2 (AMP)

This article seeks to explain the correct mindset about God’s word we should have in our growth journey as Christians. The spirit of God is one and he reveals the truth of His word unto us per time. For the letter kills but the spirit gives life. For the word of God to profit us we must see from the vista of the Spirit and allow him teach us per time.

Three persons can read the same scripture and see three different things for a variety of reasons which includes but is not limited to the following; reading their selves into the creed (those who make personal and greedy interpretation of the bible), and seeing from the lens of God. No one making a private interpretation of the bible would grow in faith.

“Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation” (2 Pet. 1:20 KJV)

To grow in God and not fall into error, you must be willing to change your lens and see ONLY through the lens of the Spirit. However, is it possible to look through this lens and still not see completely? Yes. It doesn’t matter your present state, its ok if you don’t know all things NOW, but you MUST be willing to learn and do as you are taught of the Spirit. If you have this mind, then the Spirit shall indeed teach you more of Christ and bring your teachers your way. Apostle Paul had this to say to the Corinthian church and I believe God is saying same to the church today.

“Understand that we know only a portion of the truth, and what we say about God is always incomplete. But when the Complete arrives, our incompletes will be canceled. He went further to state that when we come into a higher level of truth, we should put away that which we once knew and embrace the truth saying when I was an infant at my mother’s breast, I gurgled and cooed like any infant. When I grew up, I left those infant ways for good” 1 Cor. 13:10-11 (MSG)

What God expects from every believer is growth. To be able to continually grow as a believer, do not take a position wherein you are unwilling to yield to (obey and put to use) the truth of God’s word after it has been revealed to you. That you believe something today, doesn’t mean you will believe same tomorrow, as we fellowship with God we grow into a deeper level of truth, helping us come into completeness in God.

As you grow and have a better understanding of the scriptures you must not forget that there is someone who probably still sees from the perspective where you once saw things, be willing to teach the truth of God’s word to such without condemning, while you pray that the eyes of understanding of such is open to see clearly. We must learn to share our insights in the scriptures to other believers with humility of heart (Eph. 3:18).

It is possible that we encounter other believers who read the bible through God’s lens and still see from different perspectives (people interpret the word in different perspectives). In such cases, it is good the two parties are humble, hear each other out and search the scriptures to know the bible’s counsel about the topic (issue) being discussed. Do Not Argue. Sometimes one of the reasons why we argue our point and perspective whether right or wrong and try to make people see from our point of view is because we are so fixated on ourselves that we pay little attention to what the Spirit is saying and would rather show that we are knowledgeable, because knowledge puffs up (1 Cor. 8:1).

Do not take a position in your heart wherein you’re unwilling to yield to the truth of God’s word, or teach the truth in love. To receive God’s word, you need to throw all spoiled virtue and cancerous evil in the garbage. In simple humility, let our gardener, God, landscape you with the Word, making a salvation-garden of your life, only his word is able to save your soul, receive it with meekness (James 1:21 MSG).

In conclusion, always put this to heart as we become complete in Christ (Matured in Christ), for we shall be complete in him and it shall not be long. But for right now, until that completeness comes, we have three things to do to lead us toward that consummation: Trust steadily in God, hope unswervingly (expressed in our thirst for God’s word), love extravagantly (expressed in our humility to share our insights with fellow believers).

Love Always Win.

Written by Abraham Omotayo

What Makes Your Life Tick?

What Makes Your Life Tick?

Matthew 6:33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.

Philippians 2:10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth;

I have come to realize that everyone on the surface of the earth has got that “one thing” that makes their lives tick. It is a constant of life. There is “the what” that drives our lives at every point.

For teens and much younger folks, it may be the quest to perform well educationally. For the youth, it may be a quest to become success (by whatever success metrics used). This includes escaping the much dreaded poverty, so money is pursued like a piece of diamond placed at the end of a 100 metre race. Well, who wouldn’t pursue? Only a glimpse at the shame and embarrassment a lack of it portends, is enough motivation. For the older adults, it may be the quest to consolidate on whatever they have tried to build for the past 20-30 years of hardwork, or lingering hope of better days again for those who fate hasn’t smiled on and as such have nothing to consolidate.

Why this demographical analysis?

It is just to buttress the fact that at any point in time of our lives, there is “the what” makes our life tick. For this thing, you can spend any amount of money to fund it. It is that thing that can make you stay awake for hours in the night. It can make you disappoint even humans, as it controls the core of your entire being. Such is the huge effect that whatever makes our life tick have on us. And On our death beds, it would be what will be most remembered. It is our rallying point!

This thing that makes our lives tick can range across several options, as people have chosen several things to expend their energy on, but the case is very different from a God-minded Christian.

Jesus was teaching the disciples on the Mount and he said to them( and all of us in extension);

Seek ye FIRST the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33

There are four components of this Scripture worthy of note here;

  1. God ( to be sought)
  2. God’s Kingdom ( to be sought)
  3. God’s righteousness ( to be sought)

And then the reward for faithfully seeking these first three is presented in the fourth as ALL THESE THINGS or ALL OTHER THINGS.

The Scriptures clearly shows the Christian what to seek and set as the basis for life’s pursuit. And so, although we may be engaged in various activities in life, God expects only one thing to be the first in the rallying point of our lives and existence – THE KINGDOM.

According to Phillipians 2: 10, Scriptures show us the hierarchical grading of all things in God’s universe.

  1. There are things in heaven.
  2. There are things in earth.
  3. There are things under the earth.

Little wonder Apostle Paul through the Holy Spirit admonishes us to “…….SEEK those THINGS which are ABOVE”,

And also to ” …set your affection on THINGS ABOVE, not on things on the earth”. Colossians 3:1 and 2.

Now let us look closely again at 2nd Peter 3.

But the heavens and the earth which are now, by the same word at kept In store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgement and perdition of ungodly men. 2nd Pet 3:7

“….in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also and the WORKS THAT ARE THEREIN shall be burned up”. 2nd Pet 3:10

This includes money and all that it can buy.

“Seeing then that all these things shall be Dissolved……..” Verse 11.

It is striking to discover that there are some things that have been reserved for destruction, inevitably! And God in his infinite wisdom has warned us to steer off the temptation to make them the rallying point of our life or core of our existence.

In these last days, God seeks Christians who are not just in Christianity for themselves or what they stand to gain, but people whose hearts are set out for HIM and His purpose. People who indeed are “fellow workers unto the Kingdom of God” (Colossians 4:11).

These people have the matters of the Kingdom as what their lives revolve around. They may have businesses to run, families to keep and report to, certificates to acquire or careers to pursue, but in the midst of all these they have the overriding rallying point of their lives as God and His Kingdom. The purposes of God and being relevant to His program is what makes their lives tick! They sleep it. They breathe it. You wonder why David (even after all his misdeeds) was a man after God’s heart. He had matters of the Kingdom as what made his life tick.

Just recently, a prayer came to my heart strongly and that is; May what makes my life tick, not be what has been reserved for destruction.

I believe this should be your prayer too. There could be no greater tragedy.

Again the Spirit the LORD is asking you….

What makes your life tick?

Selah.

Written by Olowo Endurance

**All Scriptures cited, unless otherwise stated are from the King James Version**

Your Thirst Qualifies You For More

Your Thirst Qualifies You For More

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me (Psalm 42:7)”

In the Kingdom, many words and expressions carry very different meanings from what they are implied in the normal world. Such of those words, is the word “thirst”. From the natural standpoint, we know that when a man thirst and he gets water, he is satisfied, and therefore no longer thirsty. In the spiritual, kingdom thirst is not satisfied. Yes I mean Spiritual thirst is not satisfied, when it gets some it still calls for more. So as this thirst is satisfied, shortly after, a deeper thirst begins.

“The leech has two suckers that cry out, ‘More, more!’. There are three things that are never satisfied – no, four that never say, ‘Enough’: (Prov. 30:15) NLT”

“The grave, the barren womb, the thirsty desert, the blazing fire (Prov. 30:16) NLT”

“Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me (Psalm 42:7)”

From the scriptures above, we clearly see that true spiritual thirst is satisfied to only create a deeper spiritual thirst. “Deep calls unto deep”, is the definition of spiritual thirst. A knowledge of God revealed to us today, makes us want to know God the more tomorrow. That is why, you can’t claim to have a thirst for God, and not have a regular act of fellowship with Him. No man claims to have a genuine thirst, without having a strong desire for prayers and study of the scriptures. Spiritual thirst is not a one-time activity, it is a life. Men of thirst pursue God every second of their life with all their breath.

David, a very good example of a man with a thirst also says this.

“O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; (Psalms 63:1)”

“To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary (Psalms 63:2)”

David once again brings us back to our definition.

Notice what David said in Psalms 63:2, to see thy power and glory as I have seen thee. He had already seen God, yet he still wanted to see God. Spiritual thirst only proclaims for more. Another example is Moses, whom God said he spoke to face to face, and yet Moses still told God he still wanted to see his face the more. (Num. 12:8, Exo. 33:18).

Thirst opens every believer to deeper insights of God. Mysteries in the kingdom are not opened to people who do not have (show) a strong desire (respect) for such mysteries. The Mysteries of God are not delivered to careless people. And until you show that you will be careful and respect such mysteries of the kingdom, you may never be entitled to them.

“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a merchant man, seeking goodly pearls (Matthew 13:45)”

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you (Matthew 7:6)”

Many of the secrets which our fathers in the faith possessed, came through a strong hunger for such secrets. And today we are all enjoying the wonders of the kingdom. But some people paid the price, which was their thirst. In fact Jesus, emphatically told us that the price to pay to know more about the kingdom was our thirst. Your thirst is your ticket.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled (Matt. 5:6)”

Notice the use of the words “do hunger and thirst” which implies a continuous act. Not just a one day act. They desire continuously. They don’t stop. They being satisfied today, is the reason they come tomorrow. Their deep today calls for another deep tomorrow (Ps. 42:7). And so every day they keep coming, seeking to see through the secrets of the kingdom. To be sincere, our 10, 15 minutes daily devotion is not showing any act of seriousness. We can’t continue like that and expect to handle some big and deep truth of the kingdom.

This generation, always seek someone to teach them everything. Without them learning to search the scriptures themselves, and that is why we have remained at this point ever-since. We can’t continue to remain at the level we are. Our visa into the next level is our thirst.

“Call unto me and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not (Jer. 33:3)”

God doesn’t reveal secrets to people, if they don’t ask. Our asking will come out of our desire to know. Our thirst, is just like a drill in an oil field, it keeps digging until it reaches oil. Our thirst creates the will power to keep searching, seeking the things of the kingdom. King David was a man of such thirst, this was what he said in one of the psalms.

“As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God
(Psalm 42:1)”

“My soul thirsteth for God, for the living God: When shall I come and appear before God (Psalm 42:2)”

“My tears have been my meat day and night, while they continually say unto me, where is thy God (Psalm 42:3)”

With all this David’s thirst, little wonder God loved him, and called him a man after His heart and even showed him a lot about the mystery of the coming messiah. Many of the patriarchs of old, Isaiah, Moses, Samuel, Enoch, Elisha and Paul, just to mention a few, were thirsty men. Aggressively seeking for God and wanting to know more of Him. This was clearly evident in their lives. They sought him through prayers and searching the scriptures (fellowship with the spirit). And that was why they were able to record the Bible. Can your thirst get anything for your generation? Or you just want to be spoon-fed every time?

Paul had this to say.

“That I may know Him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death (Phil 3:10)”

The bible calls us “priests and kings (Rev. 5:10)” in the kingdom. One thing worthy of note of priests is that they were SEEKERS. Always coming into the tabernacle to worship and to offer up sacrifices. They were seekers. Seeking God, so Israel could be forgiven and blessed. Now He has called us priests, are we not supposed to live worthy of our call?

“And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins (Heb. 10:11) ”
Note the word, “every”, “daily”, “ministering” and yet the bible says all that didn’t take away sins. Now we are in a better covenant, which the mysteries of the kingdom are given for us to know, but the truth remains that we may not handle this secrets if we don’t build a strong desire and crave for them.

Now, thank God for the dispensation of the new covenant. I Believe God is more than willing to see more sons arise to begin to thirst for the things that He says are rightfully ours. The holy-spirit works out this thirst in us. But we need to agree with His work in our lives.

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Phil 2:13)”.

“Make you perfect in every good work to do his will, working in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen
(Heb. 13:21)”

So as the Holy-spirit prompts us for fellowship (which leads further to thirst), our agreement to the call opens up God’s thirst in us, hereby qualifying us for more of God. Know that we can always get as much of God, as we will pursue.

If you ever desire God the more in your life, develop a heart of thirst for him, create a passion to seek him continuously. Seek him with all your heart and shortly you will you see your soul being transformed, and yourself being a custodian of great truths that will liberate the world.

God being our Father desires we thirst for His presence, because as we know him the more, so we also get to know who we truly are. Ask Him to create a thirst for Him in you today. Develop a thirst for God and qualify for more of Him.

I Call You Blessed!

 

Written by Afolabi Samson

The Benefit of Coming Together

The Benefit of Coming Together

Bible trends reveal that God often pairs or groups people together. One may wonder, why is it that after making a perfect man, one that God looked at and called ‘good!’, He said, “it is not good for man to be alone”?  Why did Jesus ask the disciples (day of ascension) to gather together in the upper room? When He sent out His disciples to heal the sick, why did He instruct them to go in twos? These are merely a few pointers to the fact that when doing the Master’s work, a one-man army is not better than a “mature body”.

Here are a few reasons why gathering together with other Christians regularly is important.

The Psalmist in Ps 133 talks about the blessedness of brothers and sisters dwelling in unity. The easy-to-read version says “Oh, how wonderful, how pleasing it is when God’s people all come together as one!” This seems to be a declaration of a truth that had been experienced. One can almost picture him reminiscing on past gatherings where he had glorious experiences of sweet fellowship, liberation, and beholding the beauty of the Lord’s holiness; hence he utters “Oh!”, revealing his longing. There are certain indescribable pleasures obtained when we fellowship together. Usually, an experience of awesomeness makes you hunger for more.

It will be appropriate at this juncture to answer this question: What happens when saints gather together?

God is pleased! Just like it will please any parent to have his children and grand-children gathered around him, so it is with God. And what does God do in response to that? He blesses the gathering with his presence. Jesus said in Matt 18:20, “For where two or more are gathered in my name, there am I in the midst of them”.

And this is where the fun starts.

God being among us
Naturally, some would wonder, “but God already lives in me through His Spirit”. Yes, that is very true. Nonetheless, just the way God is 3 and God is 1, there is a place for God in you and a separate place for God in our midst. They both have different yet interwoven roles and expressions.

It is important to remember that Matt 18:20 is referring to a gathering unto God. NLT says “when 2 or more are gathered as my followers, I am among them”. It is refers to ambassadors of Christ coming together to establish wishes of the One that sent them. Although the verse was used in the context of how an assembly should manage a misbehaving member, it was mentioned as a fact and used to support a specific context; hence it is not restricted to this case alone.

So when we gather together as believers, God comes to be in our midst and fellowships with us as a group. An atmosphere is created for amazing things to happen.

When God is among us, Warmth is generated. Though physical warmth is not totally ruled out, warmth here means tenderness of heart causing genial disposition towards others which helps to build/foster cordial relationships. This will eventually lead to agreement. The hearts and desires of the members are unified by the same Spirit and the group develops what I like to call it the “tower of babel potential”. Of course this does not mean it is a sin for Christians to disagree on certain issues. Nevertheless, the Spirit of God should be given headship, so he works out peace and unity. Eph 4:3 reveals that members have to “ensure” that it happens this way. The fruit of the spirit in the form of patience and love plays out and in time, the truth will prevail. Sometimes both parties are wrong and sometimes both parties are right. Tommy Tenny in his book, Secret Sources of Power said: “An atmosphere of disunity is especially attractive to the enemy because it empowers him. … His kingdom is secure for a moment, because just as unity brings revival, disunity dispels it!”

Coming together will cause us to be united in faith and united in the knowledge of Christ Eph 4:13. As a result, we can do things in one accord and come to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ. Such a unified group easily defeats others, but cannot be defeated easily.Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (please read!).  Other

Praying Together!
Prayer is simply communication with God, ideally a bi-directional one. As important as it is to separate yourself from others to pray, it should not replace the corporate prayer and agreement. Many times, corporate gatherings help to fuel your private worship. Nonetheless, this is not an attempt to prove which is more important.

A noteworthy occurrence was when God told the 120 disciples to stay in one place/room and pray, until the Spirit came upon them. I must confess that such is no more common. Are people ready to commit? I believe the Christians realized the power of praying together and they applied the same principle and got Peter delivered from prison in Acts 12.

An opportunity to build, help and strengthen each other though:

  1. Wise counsel. Matt 18:15-20. In the church, one has the privilege of getting a combination of “brains” controlled by the Lordship of Jesus. Where else can this be found? There are people in your gathering that can easily judge that problem you are going through often because they have more experience in walking with God than you. Prov 11:4, 15:22, 24:6; Luke 14:21.
  2. Pooling resources (both spiritual and material). As a church we can pool our resources to help our brother who is in need, instead of letting him bear the burden alone. We can also pool resources to achieve set goals! What do you have to offer?

Ephesians 4 reveals the “capital investments” the Holy Spirit made in the church (vs 7, 11) and the purpose for them: for perfecting the saints, for the work of the ministry, and for edifying the body of Christ (vs11-12). Did you notice the transition? In vs 11, it says “He gave to some…”, but goal in vs 13 is “Till we all …” I believe God is an advocate for division of labour, because the gifts are meant for duties. The gifts you’ve been given are not for you alone, but for the benefit of the whole group as well. Team work! It is better, faster, more efficient and more fun when like-minded people work as a team than when either of them works alone.

The proper working of each part contributes to the growth of the whole body (Eph4:16). Once you play your role as an individual, the whole church will grow a little more. Everyone is encouraged to take responsibility for their duty. Passionately steward it! Care a little less about the person who isn’t doing his part correctly. The body of Christ depends on it. You are more significant and influential. (Heb 10:25) Let’s come together to form a mature body, striving towards attaining the fullness of Christ.

Be present! Be available!

Written by Boluwatife Falaye